Mount Bromo: an iconic Indonesian volcano
Mount Bromo is an active volcano which stands in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park to the east of the island of Java. It is also one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist attractions. Its impressive surroundings, iconic outline and constant activity make it one of the most popular destinations for visitors to this Asian country, and an activity that you simply must find time for during your time on holiday.
Indonesia has one of the strongest and most lethal volcanic activity anywhere on the planet. One famous episode was the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, which is one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions ever recorded. The country is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, a so-called subduction zone where one tectonic plate sinks beneath another. This phenomenon is what causes the high seismic and volcanic activity in the Indonesian archipelago.
Many of Indonesia’s volcanoes remain active to this day. However, even the dormant ones are amongst this country’s main tourist attractions. Volcanic activity is recorded every single year. One of Indonesia’s most famous volcanoes is Mount Bromo, which stands to the east
- One of the world’s most active volcanoes
- How to visit Mount Bromo
- Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
- Where to stay on the island of Java
One of the world’s most active volcanoes
Standing at 2,329 metres tall, Mount Bromo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It erupted 47 times during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, and has erupted three times since the turn of the millennium.
Sadly, one of the most recent eruptions in 2004 took the lives of two tourists who were visiting the site. This violent eruption was felt several kilometres away, with citizens of the nearby towns of Malang and Probolinggo reporting the tremors.
Another notable episode took place in November 2011, when dozens of volcanic earthquakes shook the ground for almost the whole month until the volcano finally erupted on 26 November.
Mount Bromo is the only active volcano in the Tengger Caldera.
How to visit Mount Bromo
The stunning outline of Mount Bromo makes it a much sought-after destination and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. Besides periods of eruptions (when the area falls within an exclusion zone), it is possible to visit Mount Bromo on your own or as part of a guided tour with other people.
To visit Mount Bromo on your own, you’ll first need to find your way to Cemoro Lawang: a small village close to the national park. To get there, you’ll need to take a bus or taxi from the city of Probolinggo, located to the north-west. It is free to access the national park on foot. From Cemoro Lawang, you’ll need to cross the Sea of Sand to the Hindu temple located at the foot of the volcano. As soon as you arrive, you’ll see the steps that lead up to the volcano’s crater. It takes around one hour to climb all the way to the top.
If you like the sound of a guided tour in a 4×4, you can consider one of the many outings that depart from Probolinggo. We recommend setting off early in the morning so that you can see the sun rise from one of the volcano’s many viewpoints. This is sure to be a sunrise that will live long in the memory. The most famous viewpoints are those of Mount Penanjakan, Seruni Point and King Kong Hill, which are normally included in guided tours and can be accessed by foot when walking from Cemoro Lawang in the early hours of the morning.
From the peak you can enjoy magnificent views of the National Park, the Sea of Sand and the volcano crater itself.
The best time to visit Mount Bromo is between April and October, outside the rainy season. Be mindful of the volcanic activity, as access may be closed off at certain periods. Also, in the event of gas emissions, we recommend climbing the volcano with a mask. It is also advisable to take warm clothing, as the high altitude and the time of ascent (when climbing at sunrise) can mean that the temperatures are cold.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Mount Bromo stands in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, which has enjoyed protected status since 1982. The park spans an area of 50,276 hectares and has a maximum altitude of 3,676 metres at Mount Semeru, which is referred to as the roof of the island of Java. It also has wet ecosystems in the form of rivers, lakes and rainforests.
Mount Semeru is located towards the south of the park, away from the Sea of Sand, next to another group of mountains.
You need to pay to enter the national park, although it is possible to walk around it without paying any entrance fee.
You can enjoy wonderful views of Mount Bromo from Gunung Penanjakan —or Mount Penanjakan— which stands 2,700 metres above sea level. This is the best place to see the sun rise over Mount Bromo while enjoying a magnificent view across the national park.
As with Mount Bromo, both 4×4 and walking tours are available. To watch the sun rise from the top you’ll need to wake up very early, at around 2 or 3 a.m., giving you time to arrive just before the sun comes up and before the crowds arrive.
The Tengger Caldera is a vast desert area that was created by the multiple eruptions of Mount Bromo over the years, defining the surrounding landscape. This caldera has enjoyed protected status since 1919. You can visit it by foot, by horse or in a 4×4.
The caldera, also referred to as the Sea of Sand, is one of the main landmarks of the national park. It was the caldera of previous volcanoes and occupies some 5,250 hectares. Five volcanoes (Mount Bromo, Mount Batok, Mount Kursi, Mount Watangan and Mount Widodaren), as well as other mountains such as Mount Penanjakan, are located on the caldera.
Where to stay on the island of Java
To visit Mount Bromo, you might consider staying in the nearby village of Cemoro Lawang for an early morning ascent. This small village has a few independent lodging facilities.
If you’re looking for accommodation on the island of Java, we can recommend The Orient Jakarta: a five-star hotel located in the Indonesian capital that forms part of The Leading Hotels of the World network and is part of the Barceló Hotels chain. Treat yourself to a stay at this luxury hotel decorated with Asian aesthetics and details. This skyscraper hotel stands in the heart of Jakarta’s commercial and business district.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Mount Bromo?
Mount Bromo is located in the eastern part of the island of Java in the East Java region, close to the city of Probolinggo,
How can I visit Mount Bromo?
You can get to Mount Bromo by taking public transport from Probolinggo.
Why is it famous?
Mount Bromo is famous for being one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes, for its Sea of Sand and for offering one of the world's most iconic sunrises.